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Barter Town

Page history last edited by Michael 6 years, 10 months ago

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     This town depends on trade, as the name indicates. It's located deep in the Plains, and is often attacked by raiders and tinpot dictators.




     The town of Brush, on the South Platte River, in Colorado. It had a population of about 4200 persons, of whom about a third were Hispanic or Latino. A few sugar beet silos near the railway tracks were the most notable buildings. Interstate 76, US Route 6, and US Route 34 passed through the town. Old Fort Morgan was located a few kilometers west of the town.



     While no nuclear weapons struck the town, fallout from Denver, plus the effects of the Long Winter and the Yellowstone eruption, drove out the inhabitants. The site was re-settled in 2060, and the Cartel established an emporio and truck stop here in 2077.


What Outsiders Know

     A moderately important trading zone. The Cartel, the Clean Water Clans, the Crystaltime Merchants, and other merchants meet here to buy and sell cargos. This is about as far north as any of the "trucking" groups will go.


The Reality

     The seven rulers of Bartertown are each individually in the business of squeezing money from visitors (and each other). They maintain separate sets of guards, and the town is divided by internal walls between their districts.




     About 500 within the town, and a couple hundred more within a day's walk.


Territory and Locations

     The town is roughly rectangular, about 150 meters wide east-to-west and 100 meters across north-to-south. Banks were located at 205 Carson Street and 301 Clayton Street, in the old city of Brush; their vaults are the most notable structures remaining from before the Atomic War. Lord Greenback's 'palace' is built over what used to be the bank on Carson Street.

     The town has a crude wall around it, and is further divided internally into nine zones (roughly blocks divided by streets from each other), each controlled by either a local Lord, or by the two powerful trading groups (the Cartel and the Clean Water Clans). Five gates face east, south, north and (two) west. Near the eastern entrance to the town is a fortress, built and managed by all seven Lords together; it's only about 30 meters on a side, with a watchtower at one corner.




Government, National and Local

     It is ruled by seven "Lords", each monopolizing a facet of trade.


  • Lord Rush:  narcotics

  • Lady Kiss:  sex and prostitution

  • Lord Greenback:  customs and fees, the treasury, banking

  • Lord Sharp:  food and livestock

  • Lord Jupiter:  slavery

  • Lord Chance:  gambling and entertainment

  • Lord Skill:  fuel, wells and water supply, electrical power and other utilities


     The Cartel and the Clean Water Clan each have a station, a warehouse or two, and about 30 guards and caravan escorts here, along with some horses, motorbikes, and a motor vehicle each. The Crystaltime Merchants have a factor here, but he only has a couple of personal guards.


Justice, Social Control, Punishment

     It's pretty much "what the Lords say, goes". Each of the Lords has about 30 goons or servants. The Cartel and other trading groups expect agreements to be honored, which is about the only check on outright banditry by the Lords.


Political Factions, Dissent

     Each Lord is a faction, of course.


Famous/Infamous Persons


     Only the Lords, see above.


Relationships with Other Groups

     The Ravagers, Waste Lords, Doomriders, and other raiding  groups are feared.




Ethnic Groups, Immigration and Emigration


     They're a mix of midwestern American types. Cartel staff and guards are more often Hispanic.


Social Divisions and Castes

     The Lords, their cronies, their guards, independent merchants, poor folk, and slaves ...


Religion, Beliefs and Superstition

     Blah blah ...


Morality and Values

     The permanent residents are a very mercenary lot.


Progress and Failure

     Blah blah ...


Family, Age, Sexuality and Gender

     Blah blah ...


Education and Language

     The locals use Roadtalk, Unislang, and Komerk. More or less, each of the Lords has a literate person or two on their staff -- except Lord Greenback, who has several literate (and numerate) slaves. The Cartel and Clean Water Clan members are more likely to be literate.


Environment and Agriculture

     A few farms along the South Platte River grow sugar beets and some other vegetables. About 50 persons live on the farms.



     Except for the Cartel members, the locals get by on basic, dull food.


Art and Entertainment, Music, Literature, Recreation

     Blah blah ...


Fashion and Appearance

     Blah blah ...


Urban and Rural Areas, Architecture

     Barter Town is ugly, dirty and sturdy. Roofs are made from rusty old corrugated iron and other salvaged materials. Except for the "palaces" and the fortress, none of the buildings are more than one story tall.


Equipment and Resources



     There is a Cartel station here, at the northern end of the Cartel's trade network. From here, horse caravans head out into Wyoming and eventually to the Lost Paradise.


Science, Medicine and Technology

     Blah blah ...


Weapons and Military Equipment

     The Lords of Barter Town have spent a fair amount of money on arms for themselves and their troops. They don't sell weapons to "locals" however, for fear that the guns would end up in the hands of raiders. Expect the guards to carry Cartel Rifles, ordinary cartridge revolvers, and maybe some hand grenades made in Styx.

     There are two breech-loading 75mm cannon mounted where they can fire over the walls (one on the western arc, the other to the east).



     Besides couriers, the Lords each have CB radios; the Cartel and Clean Water Clans may also have some better radios.



     There are horse-drawn wagons, of course; each of the Lords has one or two motor vehicles, mostly as status symbols. The Cartel and the Clean Water Clans each have a vehicle or two, also.









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